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Portugal lucky to eliminate Croatia, says Rakitic

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic believes Portugal were too lucky to have eliminated their team saying Portugal had no idea how they scored in the last-16 clash.
He described football as the “dumbest thing” after his side’s 1-0 loss, as Ante Cacic’s men went down to a 117th-minute goal from Ricardo Quaresma at Euro 2016 in a poor encounter, in which Croatia had their chances, in Lens on Saturday.
Ivan Perisic had hit the post with a header before Portugal broke and Quaresma nodded in after Danijel Subasic did brilliantly to keep out a Cristiano Ronaldo effort.
An unhappy Rakitic was in disbelief after his side’s exit, saying: “They don’t have a clue how they scored. If you ask them now how they scored, they probably wouldn’t know.
“They say football is the best game in the world… but sometimes it is the dumbest thing in the world. That was tonight, because it is impossible that the better team has to go home.
“I don’t know why things always break on our backs. Where is justice? Why is it always avoiding us?
“We played great the whole tournament, I can’t believe we have to go home.”
Fellow midfielder Luka Modric felt Portugal were fortunate, with Fernando Santos’ men having sat deep – like Croatia – for much of the contest.
Meanwhile, whether it is off the bench or in the starting XI, Renato Sanches is just happy to play his part for Portugal after they stunned Croatia to advance to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
Teenage sensation Sanches came off the bench and produced a man-of-the-match performance as Portugal defied the odds to upstage Croatia 1-0 after extra time thanks to Ricardo Quaresma’s 117th-minute goal in Lens on Saturday.
Despite calls for Fernando Santos to start Sanches, the 18-year-old midfielder has been named among the substitutes in all four games at the European Championship, coming off the bench in three of those, not that the player is concerned ahead of a last-eight showdown against Poland.

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